Second on the table, stalemates kicked to the kerbside for now and no one ran out of legs — so you've got to ask what else Hawke's Bay United need as Christmas beckons?
Making sure the effervescence matches the festive champagne well after the Bay franchise team herald in the new year during their sparkling national summer league campaign.
That sort of exhilaration comes on the foundation of the 4-2 victory the Thirsty Whale-sponsored Bay United ground out when they came from behind to overcome Waitakere United in week seven of the premiership in Napier today.
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The win came on the heels of a Park Island lockout after police subdued an alleged gunman during training on Tuesday night.
"We didn't know too much about it at the time so we ran into the changing room," said Bay striker Ihaia Delaney after a brace of goals that sealed the fate of the visitors who were leading 2-1 at halftime.
"You obviously don't expect that to happen anywhere in New Zealand, really, or anywhere around the world but it's happened and we'll moved forward from that.
Delaney said they had struggled to find the net in the first spell but after the pep talk from co-coaches Chris Greatholder and Bill Robertson at the break they had remained confident.
"Luckily I got two [goals] but it was Josh's second goal that got us back in the game so I knew when we got that it was game over," he said of Englishman Joshua Signey who had levelled at 2-all.
The 20-year-old said the high intensity but frustration of not finishing half chances had led to a lower tempo in the second half in the balmy conditions.
"In the second half we started moving for each other a little bit more so things started to open up a little bit more," he said, attributing the third goal to a great collective effort.
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A few players had started dropping off in the last five minutes but Delaney said their fitness had trumped the visitors.
Taking maximum points off the Hamilton Wanderers on the road in a 4pm televised kick off next Sunday was important if they wanted to win the premiership, he said.
The Bay had dominated from the kick off when Dylan Sacramento won a challenge and outpaced Luke Searle as the last man on defence but the centre back committed a professional foul, picking up a yellow card from referee Nick Waldron for grabbing the Canadian from behind in the eighth minute.
Waitakere goalkeeper Nicholas Draper did well to parry centre back Robertson's header from the ensuing free kick.
Cruelly it was Waitakere going up 1-0 against the run of play after a cross from the left flank ricocheted off the foot of defender Fergus Neil to roll into the net past goalkeeper Ruben Parker Hanks on the inside upright although midfielder Sam Burfoot was getting the bear hugs and high fives in the 13th minute.
Waitakere right back Robert Tipelu and Delaney had a tussle on the right flank but Waldron gave a free kick to the visitors in the 20th minute. Five minutes later he had a word with Robertson and Waitakere skipper Burfoot as the physicality stakes went up.
The 1-all equaliser came from Ahinga Selemani after Jorge Akers worked the ball in from the left flank but when a defender took the punch out of the left wing back's finish, the Canadian-born American striker pounced on the deflection to drill it into the net in the 30th minute.
The jeering and booing set in from the Bluewater Stadium faithful as Waldron made a rash of calls against Bay United.
From one such free kick, Burfoot curled the ball over the wall to clip the crossbar with skipper Hanks well beaten in the 35th minute.
Again the home crowd was stunned into silence when Lachlan McIsaac adroitly rose above the Bay defence to nod the ball into the net following a cross from the right flank for a 2-1 lead two minutes into added time.
The second half resumed with both sides showing intent but lacking finishing touches.
Waldron copped more flak, taking a mocking clap for awarding the hosts a free kick in the 63rd minute.
Signey's 2-all equaliser came from a close-range poke after some needle work from Sacramento who had created a pin-ball effect in the box in the 68th minute.
Delaney nudged Bay United 3-2 up despite an errant foot getting in the way after Selemani had bobbed and weaved his way into the don't-mess area of the box in the 76th minute.
Keeper Draper kept Waitakere within striking distance a few minutes later when he parried and then threw his body on the line to deny Selemani.
But Delaney wasn't done, taking his time inside the box to find his composure to claim a brace from about 15m out in the 84th minute.
He had a golden opportunity to claim a hat-trick a few minutes later from a through ball but had hesitated, enabling two defenders to shut him down in the box.
Waitakere's body language wasn't good but they did well to stage another couple of waves of attack in the ref's time.
Burfoot bemoaned the lack of a physiotherapist on their bench.
"Players like me need a lot of work done on them to get through a game even before the game," said the 25-year-old England-born player who revealed he was "riddled with problems".
Burfoot felt the turning point came at the 2-all mark.
"The ball bobbled up and hit Robbo [Robertson] in the hand so I don't how the ref had missed that because it was a clear penalty to us and we go 3-2 up from that because the game changes," he said but lauded his charges for showing character and tenacity.
Burfoot said Waitakere's average age was 21 so playing with intensity for 90-plus minutes wasn't a given but they had proven a few critics wrong as underdogs.